Training camp notes

How depleted are the Green Bay Packers in some areas of the team? Well, during the morning practice quarterback Brett Favre was briefly filling in as a defensive back on the scout team.<p>

Due to a number of injuries, especially in the defensive secondary, Favre pitched in by taking a few snaps and doing his best impersonation of Deion Sanders.

"If players are paying attention, he teaches lessons every day on what it takes to be a professional football player," Packers coach and general manager Mike Sherman said. "When you've got a future Hall of Famer jumping over there on the scout team, it really tells you where his heart is."

For whatever reason, a number of players this season have missed practice time with groin or hamstring injuries. Sherman says the team is concentrating on stretching more before practice, but the injury list continues to grow.

"We've got to get over this groin epidemic," Sherman said.

"We've improved our stretching, we're spending more time on it and we have more injuries, so who can figure?" the coach said.

At least four players are sidelined with groin injuries. Defensive back Bhawoh Jue recently returned to practice after rehabbing a groin injury for more than two months.

Five defensive backs were unable to practice Monday. They included cornerbacks Keith Thibodeaux (groin) and Tyrone Williams (groin), safeties Antuan Edwards (knee/groin), Marques Anderson (hamstring) and Scott Frost (shoulder).

Others who missed the full-squad morning practice and the afternoon special teams practice included: linebacker Anthony Sessions (shoulder), wide receivers Terry Glenn (knee), Robert Ferguson (groin), Windrell Hayes (knee) and Kerry Hood (thigh); running backs Najeh Davenport (foot) and Jason Brookins (hand); center Mike Flanagan (broken hand); offensive tackle Earl Dotson (knee); and defensive end Aaron Fields (ankle).

Scott Frost may miss up to four weeks with a shoulder injury that may require surgery. Sherman also said that Glenn will not practice this week and will not play this Saturday in Green Bay's exhibition game at Arizona. Glenn said that his left knee began to tighten up while watching his teammates play the Eagles Saturday in Philadelphia. He rode the stationary bike as the team practiced inside the Don Hutson Center Monday morning.

Up for grabs: Special teams coach Frank Novak said that the punt return and kickoff return positions are far from set.

"We're looking for the guy that's going to emerge that's going to help us," Novak said. "Right now, both jobs are up in the air." Novak said punt returner Darrien Gordon and wide receiver Robert Ferguson are the top contenders to return punts. But Ferguson aggravated a groin injury against Philadelphia and his status for this Saturday is uncertain. Novak said he is not sure if Gordon will get more chances to return punts than he did against the Eagles. Gordon returned one punt for one yard against the Philadelphia before giving way to Ferguson.

Ferguson, Rondell Mealey and Herbert Goodman are the leading candidates to return kickoffs.

On the way back: Sherman said today that tackle Earl Dotson and safety Antuan Edwards are expected to return to practice on Tuesday. Dotson has yet to participate in practices this minicamp after undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery in June. Edwards had knee reconstructive surgery last October. He also injured his groin early on in training camp.


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